A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in Australia has discovered that renewable energy is cheaper to produce than the old conventional fossil fuel sources, and that is without the subsidies.
The study shows that electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AUD 80/MWh, compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new baseload gas plant.
Wind energy is now 14 % cheaper than new coal and 18 % cheaper than new gas.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research on Australia shows that since 2011, the cost of wind generation has fallen by 10% and the cost of solar photovoltaics by 29%.
In contrast, the cost of energy from new fossil-fueled plants is high and rising. New coal is made expensive by high financing costs.
BNEF’s analysts conclude that by 2020, large-scale solar PV will also be cheaper than coal and gas, when carbon prices are factored in. By 2030, dispatchable renewable generating technologies such as biomass and solar thermal could also be cost-competitive.
The South African government is currently re-assessing the decision to build six nuclear power stations due to cost considerations.
The preferred site for the first nuke is Thyspunt, near Jeffreys Bay despite strong opposition from local communities that believe the Impact Studies have revealed fatal flaws.